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BNZ to anchor Microsoft's Kiwi cloud region

BNZ to anchor Microsoft's Kiwi cloud region

BNZ joins its parent, National Australia Bank, on a three-year multicloud journey.

Russell Jones (BNZ)

Russell Jones (BNZ)

Credit: Supplied

The Bank of New Zealand will become a flagship customer of Microsoft's new cloud data centre region in New Zealand, using the tech giant's cloud to power the bank's transformation.

The agreement will see a host of BNZ applications migrated to Microsoft’s Azure in a project dubbed "M1K", denoting the roughly 1000 applications targeted. 

That would assist with compliance, resilience and performance and help drive the creation of better products and services using the array of Microsoft tools available. 

That shift will include "refactoring" and modernisation of the applications as they are moved, Russell Jones, executive general manager of technology and operations at BNZ, told Reseller News.

It also removes the need for BNZ to keep investing in its current data centre and security infrastructure.

“This is the biggest technical migration project in BNZ’s history," Jones said 

"With this agreement, we’ll be able to create better, more reliable and more powerful experiences for our customers and pave the way for new digital tools that will allow them to do more.”

The thousand applications have been screened, with some to be redeveloped or completely replaced, Jones said.

"This is the set of applications we want to modernise," he said. "We know we are going to be running them for a period of time.

"We see this cloud offering as the smart way of us doing that in a way that gives us performance resilience, security and the ability to manage that workload."

Quality infrastructure

The onshore offering, which would reduce latency issues, and the quality of the infrastructure Microsoft was building were key factors in the decision to adopt Azure, Jones said.

Those benefits were also not lost on cooperative dairy giant Fonterra, which signed up to use the facilities last July. 

If a thousand applications sounds like a lot, Jones said across the NAB group there were way more than that,

"I wouldn't be miles away if I said the list of applications was closer to 5000 than 1000," he said.

A thousand apps is loosely one app migrated a day over the three years of the M1K project.

The announcement marks the next phase in Microsoft and BNZ parent company National Australia Bank’s five-year strategic partnership to develop a multi-cloud ecosystem underpinned by Azure.

Jones said other cloud services are involved.

"We have a multi-cloud strategy," Jones said. "We are with Microsoft and we are with one of the other guys.

"The regulator expects us to have a multi-cloud capability and neither we nor they would be happy if we had 100 per cent supplier lock-in."

BNZ is know to use AWS for some applications and has a designated staffer carrying the title of "product owner" managing that relationship.

The cloud treatments for each app are numbered from one to six, with six meaning the application is running hot in both clouds at the same time with shared data, Jones said. However, there were very few in that category.

The project was also an opportunity to look at the integrations between the applications with a view to deploying microservices, APIs or the refactoring of existing file transfer systems.

However, the first tranche of applications to move will likely be more standalone than tightly coupled, Jones said. 

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